Poultry Update

We’ve only had our chickens and ducks for two weeks, but they’ve certainly grown and developed in that short amount of time. The chickens are really starting to develop personalities, especially now that they’re starting to establish a pecking order. Every time we give them a little free range time there is always chaos for a few seconds while they flap around and harass each other.

I named the chickens only a few days after their arrival. I’m a history fan, so each are named for Queens of France who had interesting second acts in life. One namesake became queen of England and then spent 16 years imprisoned by her husband, one ruled France as regent for her sons for nearly 30 years, and the last married in secret for love after her husband, King Louis XII, died. Out of the three, only one was born French, the other two were imports.

Elanor (named for Elanor of Aquitaine) is the alpha chicken so far, so she usually gets her way. I can identify her by her size (she’s definitely the biggest) or by the big patch of white feathers on her chest.

Mary was named for Mary Tudor; both are redheads. Mary is the smallest chicken and gets bullied by her sisters. They usually try to steal whatever she is eating, so sometimes I run interference to by Mary a few seconds to gobble down whatever she found. She’s a little more curious than her sisters, and possibly a little smarter. She’s the most cooperative one when it comes to taking pictures, good at posing and standing still, so she gets extra treats from me.

Catherine, a blonde like her namesake, Catherine de’ Medici, is the bounciest, most energetic of the three. I have to be careful when replacing food or water in the Chicken pen because she is always ready to escape. Catherine is just a little smaller than Elanor, so she is constantly challenging for dominance and the most prone to pick fights. She is going to be a challenge when she reaches adulthood.

The Ducks remain nameless as Clark is still mulling over his choices. He calls them collectively his “Boys”, though it is getting more evident by the day that they are both female. I really want to name one of them Houdini because she was an expert at escapes when we bought her, but that name was rejected.

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